Category Archives: studio

portfolio, studio press

tip of the trade: buying vintage

Have you heard of Chairish? It’s a great new online marketplace for vintage furniture and home decor. Our shop recently debuted on the site and to celebrate we are sharing our top tips for buying vintage.

Chairish Chairs   Chairish Blue and White                     Chairish Brass

1. MAKE A LIST. In your phone type a list of any vintage pieces you are on the hunt for. Phones are ideal because its rare these days to leave home without our devices. Be sure to include measurements of the spaces where theses pieces are intended to live. This way when you come across a darling painting in an antique store you’ll be able to verify it will fit just perfectly on that empty wall in your entryway.

2. BRING A TAPE MEASURE. The scale of furniture can be deceiving (especially when you are shopping at an outdoor market). Refer to your handy phone list to double check dimensions before buying. This is especially a helpful hint when purchasing  tables and casegoods.

3. BUY WHAT YOU LOVE. Buying vintage is personal. Like art, it should resonate with you. Ignore the trends and invest in pieces that speak to you. These are the pieces that will give your home soul.

4. BEWARE OF PROJECTS. You come across this upholstered chair at an amazing price. It has a great looking frame, but the fabric is dated and worn. You think to yourself, “no big deal I’ll just have it reupholstered”. While this can be a great idea it is also one that requires an investment of time and funds. Before buying make sure you love the chair enough that you are committed to its refurbishing.

5. GET CHATTY. Dealers can be fantastic sources of knowledge. Whether it be the story behind a piece, other local dealers to visit, or the best place in town to grab lunch, talking up a dealer is a great idea.

6. HAGGLE LIKE A PRO. Here is our go to approach when shopping antique fairs (note: this is one venue where haggling is appropriate and even encouraged). Discover a piece you love and then decide what you would be willing to pay for it. Ask the dealer what their best price is on the piece. If their price matches your price – sold! Also if you are considering multiple pieces be sure to let the dealer know.

{all photographs by Amber Hakim}


Portfolio: Downtown Condo, Part 2

Last week we shared a few glimpses into the living room design of the downtown condo featured last month on Houzz. Read on for a few more tidbits on the master bedroom.

Twelve Chairs Boston | Portfolio | Downtown CondoNeutrals of gray and cream keep the room feeling airy and serene, while the coral accents add warmth and contrast. The light blue walls feel soft and sophisticated.

Twelve Chairs Boston | Portfolio | Downtown CondoA bench and ambient light in the way of sconces break up the hallway leading from the master suite entry to the bedroom area. This also created a mini-dressing area just outside of the walk-in closet.

Twelve Chairs Boston | Portfolio | Downtown CondoRight: Walnut bedside tables with hidden storage add a bit of edginess to the otherwise tranquil color scheme.

Twelve Chairs Boston | Portfolio | Downtown CondoA piece by one of our favorite artists, Erin Lynn Welsh, was the perfect addition to the large blank wall beside the bed. The soft blues and corals in the oil painting tie in perfectly with the rest of the room’s color scheme.

Our Three Favorite Features:

  • large scale art by Erin Lynn Welsh via Uprise Art (also featured in the living room)
  • simple cream drapery with a coral Greek Key trim adds privacy, light control, and softness
  • a standard Cisco Brothers headboard is customized with extra height for added drama

Portfolio: Downtown Condo, Part 1

We’re excited to share with you a few behind the scenes details from our downtown condo projected featured in Houzz last month. First up, the living room.

Twelve Chairs Boston | Portfolio | Downtown Condo

Twelve Chairs Boston | Portfolio | Downtown CondoTaking into consideration our clients’ desire to warm up the very modern space we brought in rattans, a range of blues, and cozy layers.

Twelve Chairs Boston | Portfolio | Downtown Condo
As a writer and avid reader, our client needed a desk space and plenty of shelves for his book collection. The solution was a custom designed built-in and desk nook.

Twelve Chairs Boston | Portfolio | Downtown CondoWith no designated dining area to speak of, we carved out a corner of the open space between the kitchen and living room to build a custom banquette complete with extra storage drawers.

Our Three Favorite Features:

  • large leather ottoman with shelf for feet propping and extra storage
  • the rolling library ladder painted to match the back of the bookshelves
  • warm walnuts featured in the custom dining and desk areas

More photos of this project can be found in our portfolio!

Portfolio: South End Townhouse, Part 2

Twelve Chairs Boston | Portfolio | South End Townhouse

In the fall we featured the dining area of a project we worked on in the South End. This week we’re excited to share the living area. The design of this room is a great example of how a new floor plan can completely transform a space and how rethinking existing pieces can give a home a brand new look.

The first step was creating a floor plan that would maximize seating and allow for easy circulation from the dining area. The resulting floor plan reconfigured their existing pieces (sofa, settee, coffee table and lounge chair) in a way that achieved both.

The next step was developing a design that celebrated the young family’s love of color and pattern. The chocolate brown velvet sofa and brass base coffee table (pieces inherited from their design savvy grandparents) serve as the two neutral grounding elements in the room. The settee, an existing piece our client had from Ballard, was completely transformed by reupholstering it in a bright and fun Katie Ridder fabric. The lounge chair, a leftover from their newlywed days, was also given new life with a geometric Celerie Kemble fabric. (Fun fact: our client reupholstered both the settee and the chair herself). Pretty impressive!

Twelve Chairs Boston | Portfolio | South End Townhouse

Twelve Chairs Boston | Portfolio | South End Townhouse

The final layer was adding in new pieces and accessories to complete the space. A large Madeline Weinrib rug defines the living area and complements the newly painted walls (Angelica by Benjamin Moore AF-665 – a beautiful white with just a hint of purple); custom color lamp by Jill Rosenwald tops off the vintage end table (from our shop) completing the corner; bright woven baskets add color and clever storage; pillows and throws tie in the colors of the adjacent dining area; and the home owners’ collection of art adds that perfect personal touch.

Twelve Chairs Boston | Portfolio | South End Townhouse

{interior design by twelve chairs | all photos by sarah young}

Portfolio: South End Townhouse, Part 1

Twelve Chairs Boston | Portfolio | South End Townhouse

Boston Globe Magazine shared a glimpse of our South End townhouse project last month and we thought we’d pass along a few more photographs and details of the finished product. The floor-through space has two separate areas (each with a fireplace) with one side used as the dining room and the other as the living room. The functional requirements included a floor plan that would accommodate multiple entertaining styles (dinner parties ranging from 6 to 10, cocktail parties, open houses, etc) as well as a family friendly, yet stylish approach to colors and materials. The goal was to make the interior welcoming, livable, and fresh while respecting the historic character of the home.

First up…the dining room! The vintage extension dining table has 6 leaves (3 with a light finish and 3 with dark) offering many options for entertaining and arranging. The vintage, mid-century dining chairs were reupholstered in a fun ikat that pulls the teal color used in the adjacent living room through the space. We used a funky brass chandelier to tie in the brass accents of the dining table. The art was sourced by the home owner and adds to the relaxed, yet sophisticated vibe. Stay tuned next week for more on the living room.

Twelve Chairs Boston | Portfolio | South End Townhouse

Twelve Chairs Boston | Portfolio | South End Townhouse

Twelve Chairs Boston | Portfolio | South End Townhouse

{interior design by twelve chairs | photography by sarah young}